A few days ago, a neighbor and dear friend posted about the German phrase “Zwischen den Jahren”, which translates to “between the years”. It speaks to the state of being represented by that nebulous time between Christmas and New Years. As she puts it, “Time stops at Christmas, continues in slow motion and picks back up in January. It’s a time to stay in, take off work if you can, reflect, be lazy, eat leftovers, read all the new books all day and whatever else helps you reset”. That honestly sounds pretty amazing and special right now. I rather wish we all adopted this attitude of rest, and I am grateful to have the space today and this past week for largely that.
I’ve fallen in love with the Danish concept of hygge over the past few years and the state of Zwischen den Jahren fits so beautifully as a practice that I’ve felt my heart latch onto it almost immediately. As we prepare to big 2022 farewell, I shall spend today with my blankets, fireplace, stacks of books and journals, and the quiet of stillness. I know that I deeply need time like that: moments where I can just be or indulge in lovely things that feed my soul. Yesterday morning, it was coffee and episodes of season 2 of Sanditon that I have been putting off. I am often hard-pressed, as you know, to allow myself time to rest. But learning that stopping and slowing down after the holidays to allow oneself to recover is not just wishful thinking but the practice of an entire country makes it somehow more palpable, even attainable.
I have worked hard to make this holiday special for my dear ones as I also take care of necessities and work. As 2022 ends, though, I want to see it out with gentle reflection and handling of myself, my heart, and my tender soul. I want to sink deep into Zwischen den Jahren, drawing hygge close, and giving myself the rest and comfort I deserve.
And I hope you gift yourself so, too. Happy New Year, Friendly Readers. May it be blest.
“Without constructs, you will unravel few mysteries. Without knowledge of the mysteries, your constructs will fail. These pursuits are what make us, but without comfort, you will lack the strength to sustain either.”
― Becky Chambers, A Psalm for the Wild-Built